The Roles of Information Technology in Scm

Based on emplace data from 16 Flannels Industrial and service companies this paper presents a classification f the ways in which companies use IT in SCM, and examines the drivers for these different utilization types. According to the findings of this research, the use of IT for SCM purposes can be divided into 1) transaction processing, 2) supply chain planning and collaboration, and 3) order tracking and delivery coordination. The findings further suggest that the drivers between these three uses of IT in SCM differ.

Key Words: Supply chain management, Information technology, Inter-organizational systems, Supply chain collaboration, Information sharing, Case study. Introduction Today companies are often not considered independent entities, but parts of multi- company, multi-echelon networks, I. E. Supply chains, delivering goods and services to the final customer (Christopher, 1992; Lambert and Cooper, 2000). Supply chain management (SCM) literature proposes that integrated control of these multi- company networks can provide significant benefits (e. G. Cooper et al. , 1997; Burgess, 1998; De Lieu et al. 1999; Moonstones and Twill, 1999; Nortek and Pollen, 2001). The utilization of Information technology (IT), In turn, Is considered an Imperative acquirement for managing these networks, and has been associated with significant Pearson, 2001). Although the importance of IT for efficient SCM is widely purposes of SCM is narrow. More specifically, majority of the prior research has focused either on modeling the benefits of interdenominational information technologies and information sharing, or on assessing the impact of specific technologies on supply chain efficiency.

Consequently, the actual uses of IT in supply chain management as well as the reasons for using IT in a specific way still remain unclear. Due to these identified limitations in the previous literature we address the allowing research problem: “How and for what purposes do companies use information technology in supply chain management? ” The paper is structured as follows. First, the previous literature discussing the use of IT in SCM is reviewed. Second, the research design is presented, followed by the presentation of the findings of the study.

Finally, in the last two sections, the main findings are summarized and discussed and the concluding remarks are drawn. 2. Literature review Our literature review on SCM as well as on the IT solutions developed for SCM showed that the definitions for these two concepts are ambiguous. Therefore, we will iris give our definitions for these terms and then proceed to discussing the relevant previous research. 2. 1 . Definitions In this article, SCM refers to the practices and processes aiming for effective and efficient flow of materials and information between a company and its immediate suppliers and customers.

This definition has a twofold Justification. First, recent empirical studies have shown that management and integration of supply chains only rarely extends beyond the first tier suppliers and customers (e. G. Frolic and Westbrook, 2001). Second, this definition corresponds to the perception our case companies have on SCM. As for IT systems, when discussing the use of IT in SCM, we refer to the use of interdenominational systems that are used for information sharing and/or processing across organizational boundaries.